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Twerk in the English dictionary

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The Oxford English Dictionary has confirmed that 500 words are being added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The dictionary records the meaning and development of the English language. For a word to qualify, it must have been have been in popular use for at least 10 years in both novels and newspapers.

Some of the terms in Oxford's latest update are much older than you might think.

Twerk, the dance that gained global fame thanks to pop-star by Miley Cyrus, has been admitted with Oxford saying its origins go back almost 200 years.

Researchers found the word was first used in 1820, spelt twirk, to refer to a twisting or jerking movement or twitch.

"We are confident that it is the same origins as the dance," Fiona McPherson, a senior editor of Oxford English Dictionary, told The Guardian. "There has been constant use up into the present day to mean that same thing. I think it's quite spectacular, the early origins for it. We were quite surprised."

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

Every three months it announces updates, revises existing entries and adds new words.

  • 1) 500 words are added to the dictionary every day.

  • 2) Words need to be at least ten years old to be included.

  • 3) The article suggests everyone knows twerk is a very old word.

  • 4) Twerk originally had a very different meaning.

  • 5) The article suggests there is no better dictionary than Oxford for documenting words.